Exterior of La Scala
|Address|| Piazza della Scala, Milan |
|Owner||City of Milan|
La Scala ( UK: /
British English is the standard dialect of English language as spoken and written in the United Kingdom. Variations exist in formal, written English in the United Kingdom. For example, the adjective wee is almost exclusively used in parts of Scotland and Ireland, and occasionally Yorkshire, whereas little is predominant elsewhere. Nevertheless, there is a meaningful degree of uniformity in written English within the United Kingdom, and this could be described by the term British English. The forms of spoken English, however, vary considerably more than in most other areas of the world where English is spoken, so a uniform concept of British English is more difficult to apply to the spoken language. According to Tom McArthur in the Oxford Guide to World English, British English shares "all the ambiguities and tensions in the word 'British' and as a result can be used and interpreted in two ways, more broadly or more narrowly, within a range of blurring and ambiguity".
American English, sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States.
Italian is a Romance language. Italian, together with Sardinian, is by most measures the closest language to Vulgar Latin of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City. It has an official minority status in western Istria. It formerly had official status in Albania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro (Kotor) and Greece, and is generally understood in Corsica and Savoie. It also used to be an official language in the former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, where it plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. In spite of not existing any Italian community in their respective national territories and of not being spoken at any level, Italian is included de jure, but not de facto, between the recognized minority languages of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Romania. Many speakers of Italian are native bilinguals of both standardized Italian and other regional languages.
Most of Italy's greatest operatic artists, and many of the finest singers from around the world, have appeared at La Scala. The theatre is regarded as one of the leading opera and ballet theatres in the world and is home to the La Scala Theatre Chorus, La Scala Theatre Ballet and La Scala Theatre Orchestra. The theatre also has an associate school, known as the La Scala Theatre Academy (Italian: Accademia Teatro alla Scala), which offers professional training in music, dance, stage craft and stage management.
The La Scala Theatre Ballet is the resident classical ballet company at La Scala in Milan, Italy. One of the oldest and most renowned ballet companies in the world, the company pre-dates the theatre, but was officially founded at the inauguration of La Scala in 1778. Many leading dancers have performed with the company, including Mara Galeazzi, Alessandra Ferri, Viviana Durante, Roberto Bolle and Carla Fracci. The official associate school of the company is the La Scala Theatre Ballet School, a constituent of the La Scala Theatre Academy.
La Scala's season opens on 7 December, Saint Ambrose's Day, the feast day of Milan's patron saint. All performances must end before midnight, and long operas start earlier in the evening when necessary.
A patron saint, patroness saint, patron hallow or heavenly protector is a saint who in Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism or Eastern Orthodoxy, is regarded as the heavenly advocate of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family or person.
The Museo Teatrale alla Scala (La Scala Theatre Museum), accessible from the theatre's foyer and a part of the house, contains a collection of paintings, drafts, statues, costumes, and other documents regarding La Scala's and opera history in general. La Scala also hosts the Accademia d'Arti e Mestieri dello Spettacolo (Academy for the Performing Arts). Its goal is to train a new generation of young musicians, technical staff, and dancers (at the Scuola di Ballo del Teatro alla Scala, one of the Academy's divisions).
The Museo Teatrale alla Scala is a theatrical museum and library attached to the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy. Although it has a particular focus on the history of opera and of that opera house, its scope extends to Italian theatrical history in general, and includes displays relating, for example, to the commedia dell'arte and to the famous stage actress Eleonora Duse.
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A fire destroyed the previous theatre, the Teatro Regio Ducale, on 25 February 1776, after a carnival gala. A group of ninety wealthy Milanese, who owned private boxes in the theatre, wrote to Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Este asking for a new theatre and a provisional one to be used while completing the new one. The neoclassical architect Giuseppe Piermarini produced an initial design but it was rejected by Count Firmian (the governor of the then Austrian Lombardy).
Carnival is a Western Christian and Greek Orthodox festive season that occurs before the liturgical season of Lent. The main events typically occur during February or early March, during the period historically known as Shrovetide. Carnival typically involves public celebrations, including events such as parades, public street parties and other entertainments, combining some elements of a circus. Elaborate costumes and masks allow people to set aside their everyday individuality and experience a heightened sense of social unity. Participants often indulge in excessive consumption of alcohol, meat, and other foods that will be forgone during upcoming Lent.
Neoclassicism is the name given to Western movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of classical antiquity. Neoclassicism was born largely thanks to the writings of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, at the time of the rediscovery of Pompeii and Herculaneum, but its popularity spread all over Europe as a generation of European art students finished their Grand Tour and returned from Italy to their home countries with newly rediscovered Greco-Roman ideals. The main Neoclassical movement coincided with the 18th-century Age of Enlightenment, and continued into the early 19th century, laterally competing with Romanticism. In architecture, the style continued throughout the 19th, 20th and up to the 21st century.
Giuseppe Piermarini was an Italian architect who trained with Luigi Vanvitelli in Rome and designed the Teatro alla Scala in Milan (1776–78), which remains the work by which he is remembered. Indeed, "il Piermarini" serves as an occasional euphemism for the celebrated opera house. Piermarini was appointed professor in the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, better known as Brera Academy, Milan, when it was formally founded in 1776.
A second plan was accepted in 1776 by Empress Maria Theresa. The new theatre was built on the former location of the church of Santa Maria alla Scala, from which the theatre gets its name. The church was deconsecrated and demolished and, over a period of two years, the theatre was completed by Pietro Marliani, Pietro Nosetti and Antonio and Giuseppe Fe. The theatre had a total of "3,000 or so" seatsorganized into 678 pit-stalls, arranged in six tiers of boxes above which is the 'loggione' or two galleries. Its stage is one of the largest in Italy (16.15m d x 20.4m w x 26m h).
Santa Maria alla Scala was a church built in the gothic style in Milan in 1381 and named in honour of Beatrice Regina della Scala, the wife of Bernabò Visconti who commissioned the building. The church was demolished in 1776 to make way for the ducal theatre which became the Teatro alla Scala.
Building expenses were covered by the sale of boxes, which were lavishly decorated by their owners, impressing observers such as Stendhal. La Scala (as it came to be known) soon became the preeminent meeting place for noble and wealthy Milanese people. In the tradition of the times, the main floor had no chairs and spectators watched the shows standing up. The orchestra was in full sight, as the orchestra pit had not yet been built.
Above the boxes, La Scala has a gallery—called the loggione—where the less wealthy can watch the performances. The gallery is typically crowded with the most critical opera aficionados, known as the loggionisti, who can be ecstatic or merciless towards singers' perceived successes or failures. For their failures, artists receive a "baptism of fire" from these aficionados, and fiascos are long remembered. For example, in 2006, tenor Roberto Alagna was booed off the stage during a performance of Aida . This forced his understudy, Antonello Palombi, to quickly replace him mid-scene without time to change into a costume.
As with most of the theatres at that time, La Scala was also a casino, with gamblers sitting in the foyer.Conditions in the auditorium, too, could be frustrating for the opera lover, as Mary Shelley discovered in September 1840:
At the Opera they were giving Otto Nicolai's Templario . Unfortunately, as is well known, the theatre of La Scala serves, not only as the universal drawing-room for all the society of Milan, but every sort of trading transaction, from horse-dealing to stock-jobbing, is carried on in the pit; so that brief and far between are the snatches of melody one can catch.
La Scala was originally illuminated with 84 oil lamps mounted on the stage and another thousand in the rest of theatre. To prevent the risks of fire, several rooms were filled with hundreds of water buckets. In time, oil lamps were replaced by gas lamps, these in turn were replaced by electric lights in 1883.
The original structure was renovated in 1907, when it was given its current layout with 1,987 seats. In 1943, during World War II, La Scala was severely damaged by bombing. It was rebuilt and reopened on 11 May 1946, with a memorable concert conducted by Arturo Toscanini—twice La Scala's principal conductor and an associate of the composers Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini—with a soprano solo by Renata Tebaldi, which created a sensation.
La Scala hosted the first productions of many famous operas, and had a special relationship with Verdi. For several years, however, Verdi did not allow his work to be played here, as some of his music had been modified (he said "corrupted") by the orchestra. This dispute originated in a disagreement over the production of his Giovanna d'Arco in 1845; however the composer later conducted his Requiem there on 25 May 1874 and he announced in 1886 that La Scala would host the premiere of what was to become his penultimate opera, Otello .The premiere of his last opera, Falstaff was also given in the theatre.
In 1982, the Filarmonica della Scala was established, drawing its members from the larger pool of musicians that comprise the Orchestra della Scala.
The theatre underwent a major renovation from early 2002 to late 2004. The theatre closed following the traditional 7 December 2001 season opening performances of Otello, which ran through December. From 19 January 2002 to November 2004, the opera company transferred to the new Teatro degli Arcimboldi, built in the Pirelli-Bicocca industrial area 4.5 miles (7.2 km) from the city centre.
The renovation by architect Mario Botta proved controversial, as preservationists feared that historic details would be lost. However, the opera company was satisfied with the improvements to the structure and the sound quality, which was enhanced when the heavy red carpets in the hall were removed. The stage was entirely rebuilt, and an enlarged backstage allows more sets to be stored, permitting more productions.
Seats now include monitors for the electronic libretto system provided by Radio Marconi, an Italian company, allowing audiences to follow opera libretti in English and Italian in addition to the original language.
The opera house re-opened on 7 December 2004 with a production, conducted by Riccardo Muti, of Salieri's Europa riconosciuta , the opera performed at La Scala's inauguration in 1778.Tickets for the re-opening fetched up to €2,000.
The renovations cost a reported €61 million, and left a budget shortfall that the opera house overcame in 2006.
Carlo Fontana, the general manager of La Scala since 1990, was dismissed in February 2005 by the board of governors over differences with the music director, Riccardo Muti. The resulting staff backlash caused serious disruptions and staff strikes. In a statement, the theatre's board said it was "urgent to unify the theatre's management." On 16 March 2005, the La Scala orchestra and other staff overwhelmingly approved a no-confidence motion against Muti, and demanded the resignation of Fontana's replacement, Mauro Meli. Muti had already been forced to cancel a concert a few days earlier because of the disagreements. Italy's culture minister, Giuliano Urbani, supported the conductor but called for urgent action by management to safeguard the smooth operation and prestige of La Scala. On 2 April 2005, Muti resigned from La Scala, citing "hostility" from staff members.
In May 2005, Stéphane Lissner, formerly head of the Aix-en-Provence Festival, was appointed General Manager and Artistic Director of La Scala, becoming the first non-Italian in its history to hold the office. On 15 May 2006, Daniel Barenboim was named Maestro Scaligero, or de facto principal guest conductor, of the company. In October 2011, Barenboim was appointed the next music director of La Scala, effective December 2011, with an initial contract of 5 years.
In December 2013, management named Riccardo Chailly the next music director of La Scala, effective 1 January 2015.
Stéphane Lissner left La Scala for the Paris Opera. His successor Alexander Pereira, formerly director of the Salzburg Festival, began his tenure on 1 October 2014.
La Scala will host the opening ceremony of the 134th IOC Session in 2019.
Renata Ersilia Clotilde Tebaldi was an Italian lirico-spinto soprano popular in the post-war period. Among the most beloved opera singers, she has been said to have possessed one of the most beautiful voices of the 20th century, a voice that was focused primarily on the verismo roles of the lyric and dramatic repertoires.
Hariclea Darclée was a celebrated Romanian operatic soprano of Greek origin who had a three-decade-long career.
Daniela Dessì was an Italian operatic soprano, born in Genoa.
Pier Luigi Pizzi is an Italian opera director, set and costume designer.
Lorenzo Molajoli was an Italian opera conductor who was active in recording during the 1920s and 1930s.
Giacomo Rimini was an Italian-born, naturalized-American operatic baritone. He was most admired for his interpretations of the works of Giuseppe Verdi.
Carlo Colombara is an Italian operatic bass. He has sung leading roles in many major opera houses including Teatro alla Scala ; the Vienna State Opera ; the Real Teatro di San Carlo ; the Arena di Verona ; the Royal Opera House, and The Metropolitan Opera.
Giacomo Prestia is an Italian operatic bass,
Romilda Pantaleoni was an Italian soprano who had a prolific opera career in Italy during the 1870s and 1880s. She sang a wide repertoire that encompassed bel canto roles, Italian and French grand opera, verismo operas, and the German operas of Richard Wagner. She became particularly associated with the roles of Margherita in Boito's Mefistofele and the title role in Ponchielli's La Gioconda; two roles which she performed in opera houses throughout Italy. She is best remembered today for originating the roles of Desdemona in Giuseppe Verdi's Otello (1887) and Tigrana in Giacomo Puccini's Edgar (1889). Universally admired for her acting skills as well as her singing abilities, Pantaleoni was compared by several critics to the great Italian stage actress Eleonora Duse.
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Bernadette Manca di Nissa is an Italian operatic contralto who has sung leading roles in the principal opera houses of Italy as well as internationally. She has appeared at La Scala in Milan, La Fenice in Venice, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence as well as at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.
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Dorina Frati is an Italian classical mandolin player. She performs regularly with European orchestras such as The Philharmonic of La Scala, the National Academy of Santa Cecilia, the National Orchestra of RAI, the Chamber Orchestra of Mantua and the Philharmonic of Rome. She completed her studies with Giuseppe Anedda, graduating from the Pollini Conservatory of Padua, Italy.
Ambrogio Maestri is an Italian operatic baritone. He is especially known for his portrayal of the title character in Giuseppe Verdi's Falstaff. He studied piano and singing in his home town, Pavia. In Italy he has performed at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Teatro Regio in Parma, Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Teatro Regio in Turin, Teatro Verdi in Trieste and the Arena di Verona. Abroad he has performed at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon, the Royal Opera House in London, the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, San Francisco Opera House, the Konzerthaus and the Staatsoper in Vienna, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and others.
Gloria Banditelli is an Italian mezzo-soprano. She debuted in La Cenerentola in Spoleto in 1979. She is well known both for late-classical early-bel canto era roles of Rossini, Cimarosa and Paisiello, and also baroque opera, such as Monteverdi and Cavalli.
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NeldaGarrone was an Italian mezzo-soprano, best known for her interpretations of comprimaria roles in some of the earliest complete opera recordings.
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